Switch to online doesn’t slow Summer Innovation Program
Published on: August 25, 2020
This summer, college students from across the country and around the world took part in the annual Mass DiGI Summer Innovation Program (SIP). Over the course of the summer, 25 interns learned about the entire video game production process, from design to product launch. The 11-week long internship is normally held on the Worcester Campus of Becker College. But this year, due to the pandemic, the entire program was held online.
“SIP20 was different that previous iterations,” said Tim Loew, executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI). “But we felt that, based on our experience running remote projects last summer, we could deliver a quality experience and get quality outcomes.”
Loew noted that the move from in-person to online for this year’s Summer Innovation Program presented a few challenges.
“We had to work out a few kinks early on back in May, but we ended up only losing a few work days as compared to past summers,” he said. “All things considered, it was a really great summer.”
Every year, hundreds of college students vie for the one of only 25 SIP internship positions. This year there were a record 371 applications from students representing 98 colleges and universities. This year SIP also welcomed five additional interns as a result of a special opportunity offered in collaboration with UMass Dartmouth.
Over the 11 weeks of the program, with guidance from staff and industry mentors, the Summer Innovation Program teams were responsible for all the work necessary to prepare a game for a commercial launch.
“Simply put, there is no internship program like it in the world,” Loew noted.
The MassDiGI SIP20 wrapped for the summer earlier this month.
“Overall, five games were developed across several genres,” Loew said. “We expect all will launch in Collab (formerly known as LiveStudio) during the upcoming semester.”
Below are short descriptions of the games and links to the trailers.
Danger Ducklings: DD is a puzzle game where you help two ducklings get through their 9-5. Because they’re young workers, they will think every instruction you give one duck is for both of them! Navigate them cautiously to avoid all sorts of asymmetrical madness in this grid-based workplace hazards game.
Pluto’s Ascent: Compete in a cosmic tournament as the outcast god, Pluto, in a quest to redeem your honor as a true planet. Fight other cosmic deities in card-based RPG combat, and manage and grow your set of celestial skills to aid you along your journey.
Fostr: Care for and help cute animals find their forever homes, hone your caregiving skills with small animals, and move on to foster more exotic and wild animals that all need help finding loving and safe homes in this adorable and relaxing 2D mobile game.
Raccoon Revenge: Snatcher the Raccoon’s dumpster has been emptied. Go into the city and steal both the trash and treasures from the nasty humans in this top-down sneak-‘em-up.
Merge Surge: The NIGHT Virus has struck Neo Robo City, glitching its inhabitants and threatening to shut it down forever. Defend the power core by decking out a team of robots with powerful chips to fight off the viral drones!
To learn more about the game design programs offered at Becker College, go to The School of Design & Technology.